When creating a product, many clients have concerns about the work of professionals who will be implementing their idea. This is accompanied by many questions: whether it is better to choose less experienced programmers for less money or more experienced but more expensive. Naturally, the latter may incur higher costs for the project, but only in the short term. In the long term, an experienced developer will prove to be a much better – and eventually cheaper – option than you expect.
What does it mean to develop a product
Very often it is believed that product development is a one-time operation, which consists only in carrying out a set of tasks. On the contrary – product development it is an ongoing process. During this process, many changes will occur, for example, client-side changes, real user requests to fix or correct something, or the need to update the software. They will occur in your product too – it’s inevitable.
One of the most challenging jobs for the developer is to create an application that would respond to changes like the ones above.
How does it affect me? I know what I want, and the only thing I expect is a well-done job!
Nowadays, Internet applications need to evolve constantly, because users always expect new features, and software that isn’t up-to-date can cause problems in maintenance after a few years. We’ll try to give you two simple examples below.
Expanding the forum subpage
A programmer has been contracted to develop a simple application for a web forum with predefined topics to which users could add posts. After some time, it turns out that the bookmark function does not work as intended. It now has to be expanded, and the deadline for this is quite short. Unfortunately, the developer’s code did not anticipate any changes of the sort, and the implementation time will be several times longer, because the current solution needs to be reimplemented. If the developer had been aware of possible changes in the first place, the code would have been more flexible and able to accommodate the future development.
Another example is a simple system for surveys. The system is very important, because it will form the basis of an entire application and will the basic way of entering data into the system. Having done some research, the programmer decides to choose a ready-made system that seems to fulfil this task efficiently. Unfortunately, after some time, it turns out that the work on the project slowed down because the survey solution is too elaborate, and, on top of that, it’s no longer under active development. Rewriting the solution in order to make it faster, leaner, and more flexible would entail a number of issues. The first one is time – the developer would need a lot of time to reimplement the current solution, which could, in turn, halt the app’s development, because new solutions and features would inevitably be added. The other problem would be an increased risk of changes in the data structure. In this case, the developer would need to be even more cautious in order to avoid any data damage.
Don't let these stories happen to you
Both problems above could have been easily averted, if the developer were more experienced and looked at the project from a holistic point of view, instead of seeing it from the narrow perspective of one particular task. This is why it is so important that the developer who performs a task understands the business purpose of the thing s/he is working on and can see it in the context of the entire application. This developer will thus know which parts of the application are critical to the business and make them as flexible as possible.
An experienced developer will be able to ask the client the right questions to get as much information as possible and understand the project thoroughly and holistically. In the end, an experienced developer will often suggest better solutions to the client, of which the client was not aware of.